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'Pride' showcases unlikely alliance between miners and gay activists


'Pride' showcases unlikely alliance between miners and gay activists

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‘Pride’ is based on the true story of an unlikely alliance between miners and gay rights activists in 1980s Britain.

The film is set in the summer of 1984, at a time when Margaret Thatcher’s plans to close down the country’s mines led to massive strikes, and when homophobia was commonplace in Britain.

Convinced they share a common alliance of enemies, a group of lesbian and gay rights activist decide to raise money to help families affected by the miners’ strikes. The problem is the miners’ union is reluctant to be associated with them, so they go directly to a small Welsh village to offer their support.

Award-winning British actor Bill Nighty, plays miner Cliff:

“If you ask me, or anyone of my generation ‘What are the most important developments in your lifetime?’ Like myself, many people would point to the emancipation of gay men and women in our lifetime. And the Civil Rights movement in America, perhaps. Those are the things that make you obscurely proud to have been around, for them. And the film concerns itself with that to a degree in a highly, as I emphasise, entertaining way. And also the miners’ strike, about which there was not a lot of reliable information at the time, and so you get a bit of the truth.”

Members of the gay and lesbian group from London who supported the miners at the time turned up on the film set.

“We closed down Westminster Bridge, that was just fantastic,” said Irish actor Andrew Scott, who plays bookshop owner Gethin. “We filmed on a Sunday morning and it was very moving actually, and that was the day that some of the real guys from LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners), who had marched 30 years ago, were there again. So however weird it was for us, to re-live your life on such an important day must have been extraordinary for them. The art department on ‘Pride’ was really extraordinary, and they used a lot of the photography and videos that the guys had provided for them. So to see it all again, I think they were totally overwhelmed. I found it very, very moving.”

‘Pride’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year where it won the Queer Palm award, which recognises a film for its treatment of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender issues.

A sure crowdpleaser in the same vein as ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Billy Elliot’, it is out now across Europe.

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